Written By: Jim Markunas
Photos: Dan/Jess Krogstad and Wendy Brynford Jones
View all of our Holly Conlan/The Echo Falls photos here.
The night started off with a bang, as Oakland-based The Echo Falls took the stage. For a three-piece, acoustic-only band, these guys were an orchestra of sound! If you threw Weezer, Death Cab For Cutie, and John Mayer into a blender, you'd have Echo Falls, a subdued, but technically superior art rock act.
I was astounded and in awe of the crazy shit that came out of frontman, Alex Mandel's guitar. With a simple acoustic guitar, Alex's technique and ability to play rhythm and lead at the same time kept me hanging on to every note throughout their entire set. I've always preferred electric guitar to acoustic, as acoustic has always seemed so 'limited,' but Alex may have single-handedly changed my mind. At one point, I turned to my photographer and said, "That shit is HOT!"
A few more cool things about the band:
The bass player used an upright bass, sometimes playing with a bow. The drummer stopped playing the drums at one point to accompany the band on Vibraphone, and as a social experiment, The Echo Falls decided to offer their new self-titled record under the "Radiohead model," in which fans were asked to name their own price for a copy of the CD.
The Brendan Hines Band followed. His claim to fame is a starring role in Fox television series "Lie To Me." He was good.
Next up, was headlining artist, Holly Conlan - A cross between Vanessa Carlton and Regina Spektor. She and her band were adorable, charming, and catchy like a pop band should be.
I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if Holly were to become the next "it" girl for the female indie/pop genre.
With her haunting voice, flawless piano playing, and backing band fit for any pop star, Holly kept the large crowd under her spell for her hour-long set. If you haven't already, pick up a copy of her Bird EP
Holly Conlan/The Echo Falls @ Hotel Café
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